Apple has removed hundreds of apps from its App Store over concerns that they gathered personal information from phones through a hidden software kit developed by a Chinese firm.

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The Californian company has deleted apps from its App Store over security concerns.

“We’ve identified a group of apps that are using a third-party advertising SDK, developed by Youmi, a mobile advertising provider, that uses private APIs to gather private information, such as user email addresses and device identifiers, and route data to its company server.” Apple said in a statement.

SourceDNA, an analytics service that tracks iOS and Android code ,sent a full list of affected apps to Apple, including the official McDonald’s app in China, but did not share it publicly. Developers can check if their apps are affected using the analytics firm’s Searchlight tool.

“This is a violation of our security and privacy guidelines. The apps using Youmi’s SDK have been removed from the App Store and any new apps submitted to the App Store using this SDK will be rejected. We are working closely with developers to help them get updated versions of their apps that are safe for customers and in compliance with our guidelines back in the App Store quickly.” , it added.

SourceDNA noted that the techniques used by Youmi to hide its behaviour had clearly gone undetected for a long time, raising concerns that other apps may be carrying out similar actions, unknown to their creators, users and even Apple.

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Sangeeta Ghosh

Sangeeta is an engineering graduate and is passionate about painting and music. She is always blooming with new ideas and is a real go to person when you are searching for one. Exploring good dining places across the city is her favourite off-field indulgence. At KnowStartup, she is an integral part of the editorial team.

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